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What is innovation?

Please take a moment and watch a brief video about innovation.

If you don't know how to determine innovation, video will help you to do it and maybe it will generate new ideas and maybe new innovations! smiley


How to define it?

Innovation has been an important topic of study for a number of different areas, for example economics, business, engineering, and science. Despite the fact that innovation has been studied many years, the term is often poorly understood and can be sometimes confused with related terms such as change, invention, design, and creativity. Among academics there is a difference of opinion about what the term innovation really means.

Innovation term is hard to unambiguously to determined. The following is a list of defining innovation by the well-known authors. As you can see on the explanations of innovation can understand in different ways.


“Industrial innovation includes the technical, design, manufacturing, management and commercial activities involved in the marketing of a new (or improved) product or the first commercial use of a new (or improved) process or equipment”

Freeman, C. (1982) The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 2nd edn. Frances Pinter, London revolution, Oxford University Press


“Innovation is the specific tool of entrepreneurs, the means by which they exploit change as an opportunity for a different business or service.”

Drucker, P. F. (1985). Innovation and Entrepreneurship. UK: Pan Business Management


“Innovation is the successful exploitation of new ideas”

Innovation Unit, UK Department of Trade and Industry (2004)


“Successful innovation is the creation and implementation of new processes, products, services and methods of delivery which result in significant improvements in outcomes, efficiency, effectiveness or quality”

Albury, D. (2005). Fostering Innovation in Public Services. Public Money & Management, 25 (1): 51-56


”Innovation is the successful development, implementation and use of new or structurally improved products, processes, services or organisational forms”

Hartley J (2006) Innovation and its contribution to improvement: A review for policymakers, policy advisers, managers and researchers. London, UK.


Innovation is “something new being realised with (hopefully) added value”

Jacobs D., Snijders H. (2008). Innovation Routine: How Managers Can Support Repeated Innovation //Stichting Management Studies, Van Gorcum, Assen.


”Companies achieve competitive advantage through acts of innovation. They approach innovation in its broadest sense, including both new technologies and new ways of doing things”

Porter M. E. (1990), The Competitive Advantage of Nations, Harvard Business Review, March/April, pp. 73-93


”... Innovation does not neccessarily imply the commercialization of only a major advance in the technological state of the art (a radical innovation) but it includes also the utilization of even small-scale changes in technologocal know-how (an improvement or incremental innovation)”

Rothwell, R. and Gardiner, P. (1985) "Invention, Innovation, Re-innovation and the Role of the User: A Case Study of British Hovercraft Development", Technovation, 3: 167-186


”Innovation = new idea + implementation + creating value”

Ståhle, P., Sotarauta, M. & Pöyhönen, A. (2004) Innovatiivisten ympäristöjen ja organisaatioiden johtaminen. Eduskunnan kanslian julkaisu 6/2004



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